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THE FILM

If you had terminal cancer and a name to clear,

how far would you go to set the record straight?

A Southern gothic road trip of self-discovery.

An escape convict abducts his grandkids to take them on a journey through their family history. Can he show them the truth before their mother and the law catches up with them?

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the film
Synopsis

SYNOPSIS

In a maximum-security prison, PETER (70) hits a prisoner. While being treated for his injuries, a doctor informs Peter that he might not survive the week due to his lung cancer. Peter manages to escape and kidnap his grandchildren. Although afraid of him, VICTOR (12) and LILY (8) rebuff him. Lily asks for the restroom. At a gas station, Lily writes a note in the restroom.

 

Terrified, JACKIE (30s) heads to her children’s rescue with DETECTIVE CHARLES ANDERSON (late 30s). A cat and mouse chase unfold. They discover the gas station and the clue Lily left behind. While Jackie and Charles reconnect from their school days, Peter slowly manages to bond with the kids. At night, Peter pulls a picture of their black grandmother Pandora from a rusted box and shares how they fell in love and ran away at a time where segregation was still dominating. Soon, she became pregnant. They changed their names and got married. While Peter sleeps, the kids examine some of the mysterious box’s contents. In the morning, Peter and Victor bond over shaving techniques. Peter spits blood. The kids worry.

 

Jackie and Charles also stopped overnight. Thanks to clues left by Victor, they find the kids’ motel. Peter drives the kids to Pandora’s grave and resumes his story. Pandora had made a game out of picking a Tarot card per day and doing as it said. Although exciting at first, the challenges grew in scale. Peter coughs more. Lily grabs Peter’s hand. They exchange comforting smiles. Later, at Pandora’s grave, Jackie reminisces while Charles finds more evidence. Charles calls for back up.

 

Peter and the kids stop at a new motel. Peter tells the end of his story. A “victim” of their game tried to rape her; Pandora killed him and burned the house in the process. To protect his wife, he took the blame. However, Pandora was murdered while he was being prosecuted. Drained, Peter falls asleep. Victor sees this as their chance to escape, but Lily wants to stay. Victor calls their mom and leaves a message with their motel information.

 

In the morning, cops surround them. Lily begs Peter to escape, but he’s too weak. Lily and Victor hug their mom but contest the arrest. Charles cuffs Peter and commends the kids for leaving a trail. Devastated by their betrayal, Peter’s heart gives up. Worried, they insist on following the ambulance. They explain to Jackie his innocence thanks to Pandora’s box’s contents.

 

From a distance, when Peter reads a hint of hope of forgiveness in Jackie’s eyes, he gives her a warm smile and then crosses over. Doctors try to revive him to no avail. Jackie and the kids beg for another moment, but Peter is gone. Lily opens a smaller box from Pandora’s box and finds two old rolled documents tied with red ribbon. She brings them to her mother who discovers her parents’ real birth certificates - bequeathing her hope and access to more family…

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The Director's Statement

THE DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT

Pandora’s Voodoo is a very personal story charged with deep emotions, passion and love. A heartbreaking film on race and racism from the 60s to its evolution today, on fibromyalgia, mysticism (Voodoo and Tarot cards), forgiveness, passionate love, parents’ unconditional, and stubborn love. Pandora’s Voodoo is my most intimate screenplay thus far. It’s loaded with various themes and societal commentaries I have been wanting to talk about for years. This is a film to start conversations. This film is also me.

Like Peter, I want to make sure my kids know the legacy I’m leaving them, and I’ll do anything to protect them.

 

Like Jackie, I feel like I work so hard and constantly, that I’m missing my daughters’ childhood and growth. And I know I’m not alone feeling that way. Even though I’m a mom, and now a wife, I’m still a woman with her own life and desires. I used to be a single mother and I remember those harsh days where I gave and

gave and I felt so empty, lonely and lost. While the world is drastically changing with the “Me Too” movement, many women are still stuck and there’s still so much work to be done – but it also must change within the women. Although the kidnapping of the kids is traumatic, it’s also a blessing that forced Jackie to take a break and see her kids. My oldest daughter (22) sometimes accuses me of not being a feminist, because I’m a humanist. I believe in human beings’ equality and diversity.

 

Like Pandora, with Rosicrucian/Freemasons parents, I grew up in a world of mysticism. Voodoo is omnipresent in Haiti and Tarot cards are second nature to my mother. People know or have heard of them both, but I hope to educate them a little more on the subject. Hence why I also dared to include meditation in the

middle of the story. What an event and an accomplishment if Pandora’s Voodoo could introduce meditation to its audience and perhaps make them experience, in the comfort of a dark theater, what a guided meditation feels like!

I hope to break - or at least rattle - society’s limited perspectives and attitudes on race, women’s revolution, fibromyalgia, Empaths, death, and mysticism. We should embrace and optimize each other’s uniqueness. Through an emotional, thought-provoking, entertaining storyline, my goal as a Filmmaker is to widen the audience’s views by making them curious enough to question and reconsider their preconceptions.”

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